John 11:1-45 NIV
But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness is not meant to end in death. It is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was for two days. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died. For your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let’s go to him.” Jesus said to her, “I told you that if you believed you would see God’s glory, didn’t I?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.”
Glorifying God, Jesus not an EMT
On a bright day with dew on the lawn and aromas of spring blossoms in the air, I entered the office. The mailroom clerk, Mac, was lying motionless on the floor. Peg, the receptionist, hands at her face, was sobbing. “He just…he just went down,” she managed to say.
Having weeks ago completed first aid training, I felt called to attempt to save a life. With a quick review of the wallet-sized card provided at training, I proceeded through the steps to commence artificial resuscitation. Fifty years ago that meant mouth to mouth, inflate, count and press. I still remember the smells of coffee and sausage on Mac’s breath, my growing anxiety, exhaustion, and anger at the long wait for real help to arrive, the insistence of the EMT that I continue the process all the way to and into the hospital, followed by the ritual questions about identification and insurance for hospital admittance.
It was several days later that peace finally came to me as I gathered with members of Mac’s family to celebrate his life.
While focusing on the verses from John 11, please give further thought to these questions:
- Might God have ordained the Lazarus resurrection to help Jesus accept and endure his own portended death and resurrection?
- Do attempts to preserve ordinary life today, successful or not, glorify God even if they are born of duty, search for recognition or self-glory?
- How can and do we genuinely glorify God?
Lord God: Thank you for your grace, mercy, peace, the beauty and wonder of your creation and all opportunities like this for the family of Lewinsville Church to walk this communal journey of faith. Give us hope, and give us courage to do your will in the days ahead. Amen.